November 15, 2009 12:07:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State football team endured its most lopsided loss of the season Saturday night in a 31-3 loss to No. 3 Alabama.
The Bulldogs (4-6) will need to put that disappointment out of their minds quickly if they want to qualify for a postseason bowl.
To do that, MSU must win its final two games. MSU coach Dan Mullen wants to get that accomplished for the seniors.
"I give our seniors a lot of credit because I don''t think there were a lot of people who gave us a chance to get to a bowl this year," Mullen said. "It''s November and we''re still battling, clawing, and fighting to get there. We still have an opportunity."
When the Bulldogs fell out of the hunt for the Southeastern Conference Western Division championship, Mullen said the attention switched to becoming bowl eligible.
MSU senior quarterback Tyson Lee, of Columbus, said the only thing that matters now is Saturday''s game against Arkansas in Little Rock.
"It''s a one-game season," Lee said. "We''ve got Arkansas and that''s the only thing we''re worried about. We know it will be a tough fight, but that''s the way we see it, then we''ll focus on the next team."
Lee and his teammates will begin to study the film and what they did wrong against the Crimson Tide. The Bulldogs threw three interceptions against Alabama, two by Lee.
"We can''t put our defense in situations like we did," Lee said.
Lee said any loss is hard to take, but now is not the time to lose focus.
"Coach (Mullen) has always said we''ll stay together as a family, and there''s no question in my mind we''ll stay together," Lee said. "We have two games left and we''ve fought too hard and too long to let (the score) bother us. We have to understand Arkansas is an important and vital week. We have to be ready for it."
Even though MSU senior tailback Anthony Dixon (22 carries, 81 yards) was held below 100 yards for the third time this season, he''s not going to give up with two regular season games remaining.
"This is a do-or-die moment," Dixon said. "We just have to pick ourselves up and hit the field running (at practice today). We can''t start feeling sorry for ourselves and we have to find that swagger again. The season is not over. We just have to finish strong."